Exploring the role of social media in importing logics across social contexts: The case of IT SMEs in Iran

This paper explores the role of social media in importing logics across social contexts. It is based on an in-depth study of new high-tech small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and more established IT companies in Iran. We explore the process by which social media affordances interplay with forces of institutional entrepreneurship to create conditions for social change. More specifically we study the adoption in Iran of new business practices and models more commonly seen in other contexts, and relate this to the features of the platforms and the characteristics of a new generation of Iranian entrepreneurs. Drawing on institutional logics theory we conceptualize this process as one of transposition of logics in which dominant religious logics are challenged by market logics enabled by the mutual constitutional effects of human and material agencies. We suggest that three main mechanisms underpin this process: the discovery of practices from different institutional contexts, the appropriation of foreign practices, and the objectification of these practices. The study further contributes to the debate on the paradox of embedded agency and adds to the literature by providing a more integrated view of the role of social media in social change.

Mohajerani, Ali. João Baptista, and Joe Nandhakumar, Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume 95, June 2015, Pages 16-31.